Panasonic's First Wave of Award Winning 2012 Smart VIERA® HDTVs Now Available Smart VIERA Plasma, LED and LCD Models Focus on Enhancing the User's TV Experience With Expanded Pristine Picture Quality, Easy Operation, VIERA Connect™ and Networking Capability, Cutting Edge Design and Eco Advances

SECAUCUS, N.J., March 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Continuing its history and tradition of producing award winning HDTVs and following on its success at the recently concluded 2012 CES, Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America, the industry and technology leader in High Definition televisions, today announced the availability of the company's initial wave of 2012 Smart VIERA® Plasma, LED and LCD HDTVs, defining the core of a new Internet connected lifestyle.

Panasonic models in the ST50, UT50, and XT50 Plasma series and the E50, ET5, E5 and X5 LED series will be available this month. The LED models introduce two new screen sizes – a 47-inch class (47 inches measured diagonally) that will be available this month, with 55-inch class (54.6 inches measured diagonally) models to follow in April and May. In addition to the two new screen sizes, Panasonic has increased its LED model line-up from seven models in 2011 to 16 in 2012.

The 2012 models expand Panasonic's 3D lineup and enhance its commitment to its Internet platform, VIERA Connect™(1). With this in mind, new for 2012 is a cloud-based architecture that opens the VIERA Connect IPTV platform to an infinite number of apps, thereby cementing its reputation for creating innovative and cutting-edge products while focusing on providing the consumer with the ultimate in home entertainment(2).

In addition, Panasonic continues its commitment to the environment by improving the panel luminance efficiency of the VIERA Plasmas, as evidenced in the 100,000 hour life span of the panels, as well as producing mercury-and lead-free panels. Enhanced power efficiency has been addressed with, among other technology advances, new and improved phosphor mixtures and more efficient electronics. The new advanced LED IPS (In Plane Switching) panels reduce on-mode power consumption by about 25% compared with last year's comparable models. 

Panasonic is dedicated to bringing new picture-improving technologies to HDTVs and the 2012 Plasma lineup also builds upon that philosophy. The 2012 Smart VIERA® Plasma HDTVs produce black levels that have in the past been consistently recognized as among the best in the industry. The VIERA HDTVs also feature super fast response time, intuitive and therefore easy to operate controls, a vast number and variety of internet apps, and a new, clean and simple design incorporating Panasonic's Glass and Metal concept to express an elegant and luxurious theme.

"Our enhanced and very strong 2012 model lineup builds on Panasonic's priority to be the highest quality entertainment company, providing the consumer with many options and our new lineup does just that," said Henry Hauser, Vice President Merchandising, Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America. "Panasonic is extremely proud that for the last three years our Plasma HDTVs have been nominated as CES Best in Show and our LED and LCD lineup is stronger than ever with the addition of two larger screen sizes, the 47-inch and the 55-inch. We continually strive to surpass the previous year's commercial and critical success. And, Panasonic's new cosmetics and design make for a truly beautiful TV, further elevating our brand awareness with the consumer. That is precisely why Panasonic's 2012 Smart VIERA models will once again prove to be the industry leader. Panasonic is also very proud to have been named one of the top ten global green brands of 2011."

Select Smart VIERA Plasma models employ NeoPlasma Black 2500 to provide a crisp image with 2500 FFD (Focused Field Drive) technology even when the content shows very fast motion, and to control the light, which enables viewers to see subtle details in dark scenes, with the new 24,576-steps super fine gradation. The 2012 panel further reduces reflections and creates sharper pictures with higher contrast in brighter environments. In addition, a new panel structure with improved filter and pre-discharge control technology contributes to an increased native contrast level. Additionally, all the 3D models include DLNA connections for easy link-up to other DLNA equipped products.

The Smart VIERA LED line-up continues to benefit from the addition of the IPS LED Panel technology. The 2012 LED models deliver a wide viewing angle with almost no picture degradation at off angle viewing and offer up to 1920 backlight scanning for higher moving picture resolution during fast action scenes with a reduction of afterglow resulting in a smooth, crisp image. The high performance, high speed, high transmittance panel materials contribute to the 178 degree color viewing angle, high contrast performance and fast response time, which in turn dramatically reduces artifacts and 3D crosstalk.

The first Smart VIERA® Plasma series to hit the market features self illuminating panels with deep black levels and Neo Plasma technologies, providing an Infinite Black Filter with a high efficiency panel that generates the best balance of black and white under bright environments.  Select 2012 models employ the NeoPlasma Black 2500 (VT/GT/ST), a two million pixel dimming driver, a new custom driver LSI and a fast switching phosphor panel on all of Panasonic's 1080p 3D models.

The ST50 series is the first of Panasonic's highly regarded Plasma HDTVs to ship. The TC-P50ST50, 50-inch class (49.9 inches measured diagonally) and the TC-P55ST50, 55-inch class (55.1 inches measured diagonally) are now available, while  the TC-P60ST50, 60-inch class (60.1 inches measured diagonally) and the TC-P65ST50, 65-inch class (64.7 inches measured diagonally) will be available later this month and in April respectively. The ST50 models include the Infinite Black Pro Panel; Full HD 3D; VIERA Connect™ with a web browser and built-in WiFi; 1080p Full HD resolution; 2500 FFD (Focused Field Drive); fast switching phosphors; 2D to 3D conversion; Social Networking TV which allows the user to simultaneously view a program on the TV and connect with their Twitter and/or Facebook account on the same screen ; 3D Real Sound with 8-train speakers –eight dome type micro speakers with reflectors that deliver wide ranging, high quality sound; a new louver filter; Media Player;  Bluetooth; DLNA; VIERA Link™; three HDMI connections and two USB ports.

There are four screen sizes in the Full HD 3D UT50 series – the TC-P42UT50, 42-inch class (41.9 inches measured diagonally) and the TC-P50UT50, 50-inch class (49.9 inches measured diagonally) will be available later this month.  The TC-P55UT50, 55-inch class (55.1 inches measured diagonally) and the TC-P60UT50, 60-inch class (60.1 inches measured diagonally) will be available in April and May, respectively. All offer Full HD 3D; 1080p Full HD resolution; VIERA Connect (WiFi ready); 2500 FFD (Focused Field Drive); fast switching phosphors; 2D to 3D conversion; Social Networking TV; Media Player; Bluetooth; DLNA; VIERA Link; two HDMI connections and two USB ports.

The XT50 series provides the consumer with an affordable 3D solution and the Online Movies feature, a service that provides select Panasonic IPTV functionality by adding five of the most popular movie sites to the TV's internet functionality. The TC-P50XT50, 50-inch class (49.9 inches measured diagonally) produces 720p resolution and features 2D to 3D conversion; 600 Hz subfield drive; Bluetooth; Media Player; DLNA; VIERA Link™; two HDMI and two USB connections and will be available this month.

Panasonic's move to larger LED screen sizes is evident in the E50 Series, featuring the IPS LED panel, a slim design and brilliant picture. The E50 is available in three screen sizes. The  TC-L42E50, 42-inch class (42 inches measured diagonally) shipped in February, while the  TC-L47E50, 47-inch class (47 inches measured diagonally) and the TC-L55E50, 55-inch class (54.6 inches measured diagonally) will be available later this month. Featuring 360 backlight scanning for higher moving picture resolution during fast action scenes, and a crisp image, the E50 models also feature 1080p resolution; VIERA Connect™; Social Networking TV function; DLNA; a PC input; four HDMI terminals and two USB ports. The series is Wi-Fi ready and Energy Star certified.

The ET5 Series signals Panasonic's initial entry into the polarized 3D arena.  The TC-L47ET5, 47-inch class (47 inches measured diagonally) and the TC-L55ET5, 55-inch class (54.6 inches measured diagonally) ship this month while the TC-L42ET5, 42-inch class (42 inches measured diagonally) ships in April. The ET5 models incorporate the IPS LED panel; 360 backlight scanning for higher moving picture resolution during fast action scenes, and a smooth, crisp image; VIERA Connect with built-in WiFi and browser; 2D to 3D conversion; Social Networking TV function; Media Player; DLNA; four HDMI and two USB terminals and a PC input. Furthermore, each of the ET5s comes with 4 pairs of polarized 3D glasses. The ET5 series is also Energy Star certified.

The four LED HDTVs in the E5 series – available this month - include the IPS LED panel and feature 1080p resolution; Online Movies; DLNA; four HDMI terminals; two USB ports and a PC input. The TC-L32E5, 32-inch class (31.5 inches measured diagonally), TC-L37E5, 37-inch class (36.5 inches measured diagonally), TC-L42E5, 42-inch class (42 inches measured diagonally) and TC-L47E5-inch class (47 inches measured diagonally) are Wi-Fi ready and are Energy Star certified.

Also available this month is the TC-L32X5, a 32-inch class (31.5 inches measured diagonally) model. Featuring the IPS LED panel, the L32X5 includes three HDMI and one USB connection. The LED HDTV also incorporates a SD Memory card slot, allowing the user to view digital still images and video recorded on a SD card.

Panasonic's top of the line Plasma series, the VT50 and GT50 will be available later this month and in April. The top of the line LED models will begin shipping this month - the TC-L47DT50 ships later this month, the TC-L55DT50 ships in April and the TC-L55WT50 and the TC-L47WT50 will be available in May.

About Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America

Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America, a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American Subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC) and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations, offers a wide-range of consumer solutions in the U.S. and Canada.  The Company's portfolio of innovative consumer products ranges from VIERA Full HD 3D Televisions, Blu-ray players, LUMIX Digital Cameras, Camcorders, Home Audio, Cordless Phones, Home Appliances, Wellness and Personal Care products and more. 

Panasonic is pledged to practice prudent, sustainable use of the earth's natural resources and protect our environment through the company's Eco Ideas programs. Panasonic was the only Consumer Electronics company to be listed in the top ten brands on the Interbrand Best Global Green Brands 2011 ranking. Follow Panasonic on Twitter @panasonicdirect, and additional company information for media is available at www.panasonic.com/pressroom.

(1) Access to a broadband internet connection is required to access VIERA Connect features.

(2) Some services such as Netflix Amazon Instant Video and league sports sites have a separate fee structure to view movies and sports events

SOURCE Panasonic



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